We recently had the opportunity to travel (for the first time) to breathtaking and beautiful Bermuda. We were there for the new PGA golf tournament, the Bermuda Championship. The tournament was held at the gorgeous and spectacularly scenic Port Royal Golf Course! All my life I have heard wonderful things about Bermuda from my parents, who have vacationed there many times, including special occasions like their 10th and 30th wedding anniversary trips. Bermuda also holds a special memory for them since while on one of their first trips to Bermuda in the 90’s, my mom found out she was pregnant with me! As soon as I laid my eyes on the turquoise waters and blushing pink sand, I began to understand my parents’ affection for Bermuda and knew I was going to love it too!
Often mistaken for a Caribbean island, Bermuda is actually a British territory located in the north Atlantic, approximately 650 miles off the coast of North Carolina. Making a visit to Bermuda starts with an easy flight from cities like Boston, New York, and Atlanta. May to October is considered summer season in Bermuda, so visiting in late October, we caught the end of peak season and the weather was still pleasantly warm and wonderful!
The Hamilton Princess & Beach Club
The host hotel for the tournament was the iconic Hamilton Princess & Beach Club, known for its history, luxury and location just steps away from downtown Hamilton! Our stay at the “Pink Palace” was top-notch from beginning to end! As soon as we arrived, I understood why travelers have been drawn to this elegant, pink-hued escape dating back as far as 1885!
Situated on Hamilton Harbor, the property is surrounded by expansive views of stunning blue waters. There are two pools on site for guests to enjoy – an infinity pool plus a spa pool. One afternoon I was perfectly content to relax in one the chairs in the middle of the infinity pool while reading my book. The views from the infinity pool of the boats passing by in the harbor are not so bad either! Lunch and drinks are available at the infinity pool, plus there’s a hot tub!
The hotel’s private beach club is a scenic 20 minute ride away on a cute, PINK Jitney (shuttle) which runs regularly throughout the day! Chairs, umbrellas, and towels are all available at the beach club. The hammocks in the water for a refreshing, relaxing experience were definitely a favorite of mine. Also available are stand-up paddle boards and kayaks for hotel guests to use as they please! Guests with children have access to a playground and kids beach toys while visiting the beach club. During the summer/peak season there is a restaurant at the beach club where guests can enjoy beach food and drinks. Unfortunately, we missed that service by a week, but that did not hinder us from having an excellent beach club experience!
On property is an 8000+ square foot spa and fitness center. The fitness center offers a beautiful view of the Hamilton Harbor and group fitness classes are available daily.
One of my favorite things about The Hamilton Princess is the amazing art collection located throughout the property. On display are unique pieces by Picasso, Matisse, and Andy Warhol just to name a few! It’s pretty impressive!
We thoroughly enjoyed our visit and I would definitely recommend staying at the Hamilton Princess while in Bermuda. If you want to compare other options, I have also heard wonderful things about The Loren at Pink Beach and Rosewood Bermuda!
Horseshoe Bay – Known as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, we knew that seeing Horseshoe Bay for ourselves was a must! This was my first time seeing Bermuda’s pink sand and WOW, it truly is so pretty! The sand appears pink because of tiny red organisms that grow beneath coral reefs. When they die, they fall to the ocean floor and are pushed to the shore. I was definitely infatuated with the uniqueness of the Bermuda pink sand!
I strongly recommend renting snorkel gear! Smylie saw so much cool marine life while exploring, including parrotfish!
While at Horseshoe Bay we ordered the famous Bermuda cocktail, the Rum Swizzle, from the Rum Bum Beach Bar. I’m not usually one to go for a fruity, sweet cocktail but because the Rum Swizzle gets so much publicity I had to try it, right? And it was the perfect beach drink!
We stayed on the beach to watch what turned out to be one of the the most gorgeous sunsets we’ve ever seen!
Tom Moore’s Jungle – A friend and I were looking for a fun adventure and the concierge suggested we go to Blue Hole Park, also known as Tom Moore’s Jungle. It’s a nature reserve where guests can explore different trails, swimming holes and caves! When we arrived, we realized the trails are not clearly marked. We asked a family for advice, and they said to just pick our way through SO that’s exactly what we did! After a few missed turns and a little bit of backtracking, we ran into a guided tour. We watched them go into the first cave we came upon so we felt brave enough to do it too. It was sooo cool, but I would recommend bringing a flashlight as our phone lights weren’t quite bright enough once we were inside the cave. We later ran into the tour again, this time swimming in a cave! We waited for them to clear out before we took the plunge, and it was AMAZING-so peaceful and breathtakingly beautiful! Swimming in the cave was hands down one of the highlights of the trip! The water was so clear and so blue! It was such a cool experience and I highly recommend it!
If you would rather not “wing it” like we did, I suggest seeking out tour options for Tom Moore’s Jungle or visiting the Crystal Caves, a nearby attraction, that offers a guided tour!
There are so many activities I wanted to do like visiting Gibbs Hill Lighthouse and walking the Railway Trail but we just couldn’t fit it all in! Next time!
Devil’s Isle – I found this restaurant online before our trip and I couldn’t wait to check it out! They serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner plus coffee. We ate breakfast and dinner here and loved both of our meals! Choices are endless as they have a wide variety of dishes on the menu with fresh, healthy ingredients. They also have a “Good to Go” side where guests can stop in and order coffee, smoothies, juices and many other great items at the counter. Devil’s Isle is pretty small, so I would advise making reservations on OpenTable so you won’t miss the opportunity to enjoy it!
Village Pantry – After exploring Tom Moore’s Jungle, we had lunch on the patio at Village Pantry, which is the sister restaurant of Devil’s Isle! They also serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner with super fresh ingredients. I had a hard time narrowing down my choice from the many delicious menu options, but I eventually decided on the poke bowl and I thoroughly enjoyed it!
1609 – There are several restaurants on property at the Hamilton Princess, and 1609 was our favorite! Because it overlooks the harbor, I suggest making plans to have drinks or dine at or near sunset (also open for lunch). We had dinner at 1609 on Halloween so since we had candy on the brain we definitely wanted something sweet after our meal! The dessert menu includes a build-your-own ice cream sundae option, allowing guests to get creative and select toppings of your choice, creating a personal masterpiece…Smylie’s favorite!
Gulfstream – After watching the sunset at Horshoe Bay, we headed to dinner at a nearby restaurant called Gulfstream. I recommend requesting patio seating and ordering their awesome sushi!
Brew – I enjoyed taking a short walk from the Princess to get coffee at Brew. Smylie loved their sausage egg and cheese biscuit for breakfast and I had a yummy smoothie. And they don’t only serve coffee and breakfast items-I was tempted to go back one afternoon to have their wine on tap!
When I return to Bermuda, Mickey’s, Blu, and a meal at The Loren are on my list of “must try”! A rum swizzle from the famous Swizzle Inn is on that list too!
One of the many perks of staying at the Hamilton Princess & Beach Club is being just a short walk from Hamilton, the capital of the island. We loved exploring the colorful, streets, including the famous Front Street. Shops and restaurants are plentiful and just as I had seen in photos, the pastel buildings along Front Street create a memorable, unique town experience. Next time, I hope to catch a Gombey dancer performance on the streets of Hamilton and have a cocktail on the rooftop at The Birdcage.
Find these colorful stairs on Chancery Lane in Hamilton.
On our walk to Devil’s Isle, I discovered the cutest shop called Atelerie! This shop is so aesthetically pleasing and they sell unique gifts, items for the home, women’s clothing, jewelry, skincare, paper goods, and even wine and specialty food items!
Renting a car is not an option in Bermuda but there are plenty of ways to get around the 21-mile island!
Rent a Twizy – a cute, tiny electric car
Rent a moped or scooter – this seems to be the most popular form of transportation
*Be prepared to drive on the wrong side of the road if you choose one of these two options*
Take a Taxi – Services like Uber are not currently available on the island
Good news: All US appliances will work in Bermuda, so no need to bring voltage converters or adapters! The US dollar is the same value as the Bermuda dollar so US dollars are accepted everywhere!
There are so many places on the island that I didn’t have time to explore so I hope to make a return visit to Bermuda very soon! I’m so grateful that golf allows us to discover new places. Bermuda is a gem and one of my new favorite finds!
Always finding joy,
A very good read.
As a Bermudian I learned from you that we could swim in the caves a Tom Moores! Thats something I did not know. Thanks for that.
I am happy that you enjoyed your vacation as your parents did.
Do come again.
Thank you so much! Hope to be back again soon!
I’ve swam in that cave for years, but thought in recent years that it was off limits and only allowed swimming when part of a tour…. Guess I’ll have to check it out.